Rich, handsome young men, each with his own distinct personality…this type of bishounen cast is a staple in shojo manga. And if you like yours with a generous helping of chibi humor, you should definitely check out Higasa Akai’s The Royal Tutor. Read on for my review of Volume 8. (For my reviews of other volumes click here.)
Back Cover Blurb
Kai makes a friend at school and invites him over to the palace for tea. He asks his brothers for help in making conversation, but is that really such a good idea…? Then it’s a battle of wits when Heine joins the princes (and princess!) for a game in the courtyard. After all the time they’ve now spent under his tutelage, can the students finally overcome the master?
Volume 8 begins with three standalone chapters. The first focuses on Leonhard, and unlike most Leonhard-centric stories, it shows him doing something he’s good at. Instead of the usual class setting, he’s sparring with the palace guards (and winning). Yet even in this situation, the recurring theme of his stupidity still returns, but because Akai-sensei has changed the scenario from the typical Leonhard-struggling-with-math-at-his desk, this variant comes off as fresh and entertaining.
The next chapter centers on Kai, the only prince currently attending school, and on what happens when he invites a classmate to the palace for tea. This is partly a continuation of Kai’s journey to interact with others, but it is also an unprecedented occasion for the family and palace staff (apparently, the princes have never had friends over before). As such, in addition to Kai’s usual challenges to be understood, we have the royal household going comically overboard to welcome his guest.
The third chapter features Adele, and like most chapters involving the little princess, all four brothers and Heine wind up engaged in a charming group activity. In this story, they play a variant of tag with a cute wolf hat. Things get a bit competitive between the tutor and his students, but overall, it’s lighthearted fun.
The latter part of the book is an introduction to an extended Licht-centric arc which starts as carefree as the earlier chapters but gradually darkens to a more serious tone. Having received the King’s permission to continue working at the cafe, Licht is determined to do the best he can—but without his brothers finding out about his job. So, of course, one of them unexpectedly pops in as a customer. However, Akai-sensei’s choice of brother took me completely by surprise and leads to a rather intriguing sibling interaction. At any rate, Licht is forced to do some deep thinking what the rivalry for the throne means to him and how he wants to live his life.
Extras include bonus manga printed on the inside of the cover; three-page bonus about the anime and stage adaption; and the first page printed in color.
This volume begins with three fluffy filler chapters that revisit the usual themes of Leonhard’s stupidity, Kai’s struggle to communicate, and the brothers’ affection for their sister. However, Akai-sensei changes things up by highlighting Leonhard’s idiocy in an athletic setting, introducing a new character from Kai’s school, and injecting student-teacher competition into a children’s game. After that, the narrative begins a longer arc that initially doesn’t look serious but then throws a couple of twists that forces the cast’s resident playboy to ponder his future. This arc was not included in the anime, and I look forward to seeing how it plays out.
First published at The Fandom Post.